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A "compelling" ( Los Angeles Times ) tale of friendship, betrayal, estrangement, and the unpredictable intrusions of violence in the everyday - from the author of the forthcoming 4 3 2 1: A Novel "Six days ago, a man blew himself up by the side of a road in northern Wisconsin. . . ." So begins the story by Peter Aaron about his best friend, Benjamin Sachs. Sachs had a marriage Aaron envied, an intelligence he admired, a world he shared. And then suddenly, after a near-fatal fall that might or might not have been intentional, Sachs disappeared. Now Aaron must piece together the life that led to Sach's death. His sole aim is to tell the truth and preserve it, before those who are investigating the case invent an account of their own.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140178135
ISBN-10: 0140178139
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 128mm x 14mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Penguin Putnam Inc
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
Publish Date: 31-Dec-1996
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » With each new work, Auster (Moon Palace, The Music of Chance, etc.) is quickly becoming our preeminent novelist of ideas - a postmodern fabulator who grounds his odd and challenging fictions in conventional and accessible narrative structures. In Auster's latest, a narrator much like himself (a novelist named Peter Aaron) tries to solve the mystery of his best friend's life and death. When he reads a news report of an unidentified man blowing himself up on a Wisconsin roadside, Aaron knows it must be his friend Benjamin Sachs, a once-promising novelist who became a "crazed idealist." Ever since his days in jail as a war resister, Sachs maintained "an attitude of remorseless inner vigilance." His Thoreauvian vision of "personal salvation" through politics eventually results in his strange career as the Phantom of Liberty - an anarchist bomber who blows up replicas of the State of Liberty in town-squares across America. Aaron accepts responsibility for the turn of events because he is "the place where everything begins." Through him, Sachs meets the nutty conceptual artist who in turn identifies the victim of a bizarre murder committed by Sachs, himself "an emblem of the unknowable." As much as this is the story of Sachs's twisted pursuit of mercy and forgiveness, it is also a journey of self-discovery for the narrator, who must deal with his own acts of desire and betrayal. Auster's abstract intentions here are more than balanced by his sense of intrigue and character. In a world thrown off-balance by uncertainty and chance, he pursues facts with the determination of a hard-nosed detective. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Paul Auster

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of The New York Trilogy and many other critically acclaimed novels. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in 2006. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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